Eudora (email client)

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Developer(s) Qualcomm
Stable release Eudora OSE 1.0 (requires Rosetta on Mac OS X), 7.1 (Windows Paid/Sponsored/Light version)
6.2.4 (Mac OS X Paid/Sponsored/Light version)
6.1.1 (Mac OS 9 version)
1.0 (OSE) / 2004-05-18 (Mac OS 9)
2006-10-11 (Paid/Sponsored/Light version for Windows/Mac OS X)
2010-09-13 (OSE)
Operating system Windows, Mac OS, Mac OS X, Linux[1]
Type Email
License Free software (Eudora OSE);
earlier: Adware, payware, Light

Eudora /juːˈdɔərə/ is an email client that was used on the Apple Macintosh and Microsoft Windows operating systems but is no longer under development. It also supported several palmtop computing platforms, including Newton and the Palm OS.


Eudora was developed in 1988 by Steve Dorner, who worked at the Computer Services Organization of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[2] The software was named after American author Eudora Welty, because of her short story "Why I Live at the P.O.";[3][4] Dorner rearranged the title to form the slogan "Bringing the P.O. to Where You Live" for his software. Although he regretted naming it after the still-living author because he thought doing so was "presumptuous", Welty reportedly was "pleased and amused" by Dorner's tribute.[5]

Eudora was acquired by Qualcomm in 1991. Originally distributed for free, Eudora was commercialized and offered in a Light (freeware) and Pro (commercial) product. Between 2003 and 2006, the full-featured Pro version was also available as a "Sponsored mode" (adware) distribution. In 2006 Qualcomm stopped development of the commercial version, and sponsored the creation of a new open-source version based on Mozilla Thunderbird, code-named Penelope. Development of the open-source version was discontinued as of 2010.[citation needed]

Eudora (6.0.1) added support for Bayesian filtering of spam with a feature called SpamWatch. Eudora (6.2) added a scam watch feature that flags suspicious links within emails in an attempt to thwart phishing. Eudora (7.0) added Ultra-Fast Search, which finds any emails using single or multiple criteria in seconds.

Eudora has support for 'Stationery', a standard message or reply prepared ahead of time to a common question. Eudora stores emails in a modified mbox format, which uses plain text files instead of a database as Microsoft Outlook does. This allows the user to back up portions of their email correspondence without backing up the entire database.

Eudora supports the POP3, IMAP and SMTP protocols. Eudora also has support for SSL and, in Windows, S/MIME authentication, allowing users to sign or encrypt email communications for greatest security.

Eudora is noteworthy for its extensive variety of settings to customize its behavior, many of which are not available in the user interface but are accessed using numbered "x-eudora-setting" URIs that must be pasted into a message and clicked.[6]

At one time, Eudora also offered a webmail service at This service was run by Lycos as part of Mailcity, later renamed Lycos Mail. In 2006, Eudoramail addresses for users were still working (and were redirected to Lycos Mail accounts), but new users could no longer sign up for the service.

Eudora for Windows never had any form of support of character encoding and was hardcoded to declare every email sent as encoded iso-8859-1, irrespectively of the actual content, and displayed every incoming email using the system encoding (one of the Windows encodings, depending on the language version of the system). This created problems for users corresponding in languages other than Western European ones and, later on, for everybody as UTF-8 became more and more popular.

Eudora OSE[edit]

On October 11, 2006, QUALCOMM Incorporated and the Mozilla Foundation announced that future versions of Eudora would be based on the Mozilla Thunderbird platform and be open source.[7][8] The codename for this project is "Penelope".[9] Penelope is developed by the Mozilla Foundation, and the project is being led by the former Qualcomm team, including original developer Steve Dorner. Eudora, although based on Open Source Thunderbird software, is not wholly open source.

Penelope is available as an extension to Mozilla Thunderbird. The Paid mode commercial version of Eudora was no longer available from May 1, 2007. The Light/Sponsored mode versions of Eudora continue to be available for download.

On July 2, 2010, the name was changed to Eudora OSE (Open Source Edition) and the version number was reset to 1.0 when it was released.[10] From the beta 1.0 release candidate 1 readme.txt:

Beta versions of Eudora OSE were originally named just Eudora with a version number of 8.0. This caused some confusion in that some users expected the new version to be a regular update to Classic Eudora. Since Eudora OSE uses an entirely different code base from Classic Eudora, in an effort to reduce the confusion the application was renamed to Eudora OSE (Open Source Edition). The version number was also reset to 1.0, which has the added benefit that it is synchronized with the Penelope version number.

The first release version of Eudora OSE 1.0 became available on September 13, 2010. Since that time, all activity and development has ceased and developers continue to ignore queries about future updates much less the future of Eudora.

Eudora OSE does not retain the original mbox data structure, which stores all attachments as individual files together in one folder. It uses the same modern mbox file used by Apple Mail and others. No software is currently developed/supported that can access old Eudora mail archives directly, without import/conversion.[citation needed]

Many Eudora users disliked[11] the direction Penelope took. Similarly, reception to Eudora OSE continues to be lukewarm months after the release. As it stands, the intended updates,[12] to be released in parallel with new Thunderbird releases, have not materialized and continue to lead to frustration and disappointment in the Eudora community.

This does not constitute a classic OSE scenario for an expired product. (i.e. Eudora 7's complete and actual code being made available for GPL or OSE development by a community of users). This is however identical to the Netscape Gecko transition, eventually resulting in Firefox.

Instead Thunderbird is given a Eudora skin, leaving the entire back-end to be Thunderbird/Mozilla. Part of Eudora's popularity was arguably the ease with which utilities could be built for it. This encouraged users and businesses to adapt it to a variety of integrated solutions. Thunderbird's backend is incompatible with these utilities, but has a well-documented, non-proprietary API of its own for creating plugins and utilities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mozilla Wiki: Eudora Releases
  2. ^ "[appletalk] Re: PopMail+GatorBox+MacTCP". comp.archives. 1990-07-09.  USENET posting with Steve Dorner's announcement of Eudora.
  3. ^ "Why I Live at the P.O."
  4. ^ Eudora Background Documents (Internet Archive copy)
  5. ^ Thomas, Jo (1997-01-21). "For Inventor of Eudora, Great Fame, No Fortune". The New York Times. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  6. ^ X-Eudora-Settings URIs (Internet Archive copy)
  7. ^ QUALCOMM Launches Project in Collaboration with Mozilla Foundation to Develop Open Source Version of Eudora Email Program
  8. ^ Qualcomm Launches Project in Collaboration with Mozilla Foundation to Develop Open Source Version of Eudora Email Program
  9. ^ Penelope - MozillaWiki
  10. ^ "Eudora Releases - MozillaWiki". 2011-06-20. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  11. ^ "Talk:Penelope - MozillaWiki". Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  12. ^ "Penelope - MozillaWiki". 2010-09-11. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 

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